Bilateral Engagement





Date of establishment of bilateral relations: 1 November 1965

Head of State: President Droupadi Murmu 

Head of Government: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Foreign Minister: Dr. S. Jaishankar 

Capital: New Delhi



India First Policy and Neighbourhood First Policy

Recognising the significance of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, the Indian Prime Minister Modi underlined that the Maldives occupies a special place in the hearts of Indians and in India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy. In turn, the Maldives has since 2016, pursued an “India First” foreign policy.

Defence and Security Cooperation

Since 1988, when India assisted to counter the coup attempt against the then Government, defence and security cooperation has been a major area of cooperation between the Maldives and India. The defence and security cooperation between the countries is based on the shared commitment to peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region, the common commitment to fight terrorism and ensure maritime safety and security of sea lanes, and with the understanding that mutual cooperation in the field of defence which enhances the bilateral relationship further. 

Human Resource and Capacity Building

Maldives has traditionally received development assistance in the human resource sector from the Government of India. Every year, the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) offer scholarship slots to meritorious candidates from the Maldives under its 3 main schemes (Aid to Maldives Scholarship Plan, General Scholarship Scheme and Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme). 
Under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme, Government of India offers various short- term training programmes. Various agreements have been signed between different institutions focusing on capacity building of human resources.

COVID-19 Assistance from the Government of India

The evacuation of Maldivians from Wuhan, sending of Indian medical team, providing supply of essential medicines including the grant of the COVISHIELD vaccines, assistance to airlift tonnes of cargo from various ports in India, uninterrupted supply of essential commodities, provision of tonnes of staple food items, and the facilitation of Air Travel Bubble to India including the Special permission for critical care patients pre-Air Travel Bubble. 

People-to-People Contact

Maldives and India enjoy dynamic people-to-people contact, characterised by frequent travel of Maldivians to India for medical purposes, and the large number of Indians working as professionals (mainly teachers, doctors, nurses).


High Level Exchanges

  • Outgoing:
    • 1 – 4 August 2022 – Official Visit of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to India
  • Incoming: 
    • June 2019 – State Visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Maldives (accorded State Visit level)


Economic Cooperation

Government to Government 129 agreements have been signed as of 26 July 2023, mainly for development projects, on capacity building, socio-economic development, and security related areas. The economic relations between the Maldives and India have spanned the entire length of diplomatic relations. Until 1988, India’s involvement in the Maldives was limited and confined to socio-economic spheres, heavily drawn on the people-to-people contact.
India emerged as Maldives’ 2nd largest trade partner in 2022. Indian imports from the Maldives primarily comprise scrap metals while Indian exports to the Maldives include a variety of engineering and industrial products like drugs and pharmaceuticals, radar apparatus, rock boulders, aggregates, cement, and agriculture produce like rice, spices, fruits, vegetables, and poultry produce etc.
India has extended financial assistance, Grant assistance including for community development, Line of Credit and Buyers Credit, for major infrastructure development of Maldives. 
India has assisted to develop the health sector in the Maldives, including in building infrastructure and capacity. India is also a key source market for foreign doctors and nurses.
As of 2 July 2023, India has been ranked first, with a market share of 11.9 percent, with a total of 110,890 tourist arrivals from India.

Recent Updates

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fathulla Jameel Building, Malé, 20077, Republic of Maldives, | Tel Number: 00960 332-3400  |  Emergency Contact: 00960 798-3400